How 8-bit music is having a comeback
Anybody who grew up playing video games on home computers like the Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, and Amstrad CPC 464 is in for a treat, as these machines’ 8-bit music is one of the biggest musical trends of the moment.
Every music fan will know that musical trends tend to come and go, and whilst the use of 8-bit music for everything from grime music to online slots games in 2017 might surprise some, it’s worthwhile remembering that this is just one of the more unusual moments of musical nostalgia.
From the weird groups like Showaddywaddy who attempted to provide some 1950s sonics in the middle of the 1970s, to the current enthusiasm for all things 1990s, it’s clear that there is no shortage of musical nostalgia out there.
So what is it about 8-bit music that’s making credible artists like Beck and The Killers go crazy for such primitive digital sounds? Anybody who played retro video games like Manic Miner and Jet Set Willy will know how these games relied on a simple monophonic soundtrack that attempted to add to the fun, but often ended up to be brutally annoying!
But with everything from the basic soundtracks of slot games at InterCasino to chart hits by Snoop Dogg using the simple tones of 8-bit music, it’s giving all of us a very odd taste of our video gaming childhoods.
What’s strange is the fact that it is some of the more forward-thinking musical movements that seem to be most fascinated with the allure of 8-bit music. Whilst electronica stars like Four Tet count the likes of Radiohead amongst their fans, they have also proven to be one of the key proponents of this old-school digital sound.
And with everything from the grime stars of London using aggressive 8-bit samples, to heavy metal bands such as Dragonforce using a Pac-Man sound in their Through the Fire and Flames song, it shows how versatile this seemingly primitive digital music is.
There’s so much enthusiasm for 8-bit music in today’s musical realm that there are even a few enthusiasts who have hacked into Nintendo Gameboys in order to break into the emergent chiptune scene.
So whilst we might get used to 8-bit music in our slots games and in the pop charts, it seems as though there are a few people who are willing to take their enthusiasm to the next level!